Cephalgia has published an article discussing the 2010 Global Burden of Disease Survey ranking migraine as the 7th highest specific cause of disability globally (based upon ictal disability, i.e. during migraine attack). This is an important recognition for migraine sufferers, because it helps to highlight and bring much needed attention to the burden migraine causes to those who suffer from them and also the resulting impact on society. When compared to other neurological disorders and considering the number of people and burden on society, migraine research has been much underfunded in the United States over the last several years. For example, one disorder that affects 0.01% of the population, received $47 million in research funding from the the National Institutes of Health in 2010, while migraine, which is said to affect as much as 25% of the population, received $15 million from NIH in 2010. Of course, one may argue that the prognosis for the other disease must be very poor and have a significant economic burden – neither of which would be an incorrect assumption. By no way am I suggesting that the other disorder doesn’t deserve the funding! However, some recent observations about migraine patients require further understanding, since the conclusions are also very concerning …. For example, women who have migraine with aura are second only to women with hypertension for risk of heart attack or stroke (having been found to have a greater heart attack or stroke risk than women with diabetes, women with a family history of heart attacks, women that are current smokers, or even women that are seriously obese).
As a chronic migraine sufferer that has lived with aura for more than 30 years, I am grateful to the authors of the Cephalgia article and hope that topic receives the much needed attention and research funding we all very much need! Submitted by guest blogger Todd 3/24/13